Title: Pure Energy Output Sessions
Label: PAS Records
Keywords: Experimental, Ambient
Reviewer: Dr. Alexander Spaldingeningus, M.D.
For this, the Pure Energy Output Sessions by PAS, I wanted to write as in-depth a review as possible… write a diagnosis of the sound to the very minute detail so that I would be able to answer with finality the question of: why!? Why is this music so good? I’ve brought my magnifying glass, a pair of binoculars, a stethoscope, an infinity-band visual equalizer, 100 cotton swabs and little wooden sticks, a spectral analyzer (in case there are any ghosts in the mix), and a variety of other scientific gadgets to make this task easier.
Normally, I would begin a prognosis by talking about track one… I will get to it, of course, but that’s no proper way to start off. It would be like discussing the big bang without touching on any of the theories regarding its causation… discussing algebra without covering basic addition… discussing physics without first throwing a pencil at a student.
No, none of that will do for a man of science such as myself! I shall tell you first of the pre-listening experience of this album…
I place the disc, which appears to be made of a polycarbonate plastic, into my compact disc reading device so that it will play the audio data back to me through speakers, a very technical modern process that is not very well understood by most but used by nearly all. I detect the familiar whirring, a sound I recognize as the spinning of the compact disc, and this sound is then accompanied by tones that would suggest that the devices laser scanner were scrambling to latch onto the introductory bytes and read the data imprinted onto the discs surface. It takes a few tries, but eventually it manages. It’s a comforting feeling, to be present for this brief procession of mechanical parts performing in accordance with their designer’s intent, if a bit cold in contrast to that of setting a vinyl record upon a phonograph and placing the needle to its surface… the warm crackling, the smell of those old electronics of a bygone era wafting past your brushy, stoic mustache to enter your Nietzschean nostrils. Or in comparison to the feel of playing a tape, usually needing to be re-wound or forwarded fastly before-hand. Ah, nostalgia! This is irrelevant, however; purely subjective. A small, digital LED panel tells me that I am about to begin at ’01’. That would refer to the track number.
Ah, track one… what is it called? ‘Angels’… I will not linger too long on titles, but commence to review the particulars of the sound on display here. Oh, oh… what is this!? I’m hearing things!!! I’ll have to pause for a moment, my apologies… I was only prepared to speak of hearing in an abstract, academic way, not to actually have to hear anything with my ears! How mundane! This will take but a moment of mental preparation, thank you for your patience.
*a few hours pass*
… ah, I’ve returned to the lab. Yes, now I think I am ready to play the audio and listen to it. I’ve brought a de-volumizer with me, which should help to drown out any actual soundwaves so that my ears will not suffer any unnecessary duress.
So where was I?
Ah, yes, track one! One signifies the start of a journey… let’s see how ours will begin. As sound plays I have analyzed the waveforms. They are very much unlike the waves you would find in an ocean or other permitting geological circumstance, but of course possessing enough similarity as to make the use of the term fitting. I can certainly say that, in matters of pure energy output, this particular session was very put. Yes, quite.
The next track, titled ‘Travel Into’, has an equally impressive decibel range. It is also five minutes and fifty-two seconds in length, give or take a few milliseconds. There is also an impressive array of sounds on parade here… I really liked the ones that go “ah”.
After that, in logical procession, comes ‘Honour’, a very short piece of music with a giddy excitement of bright noises that seem to evoke many particular subjective feelings and other unreasonable states. It passes shortly and that is probably for the good of us all, lest we become too enamored with the specimen to remain objective.
‘Explanation Without Words’, the fourth track on this album so far, seems in its four minutes and fourteen seconds to defy all my attempts to extrapolate meaning from the empirical data I’ve collected through use of various devices and instruments.
I wonder if that is not somehow fitting? Illogical. We will have to run more tests.
There is a very nice moment in the fifth piece, titled ‘Hope’ — a concept scarcely worth consideration as it holds no observable material basis in reality. I’ll show you what I’m talking about…
Then we arrive at a piece titled ‘Melancholy Drink Coaster’, but I can’t make heads or tails of the sound data. That a coaster could be melancholy… more experiments will have to be done to determine whether or not inanimate objects are capable of emoting. Is a compact disc an emotional object? Does it possess awareness of the moods of the music it carries?
Further emanations of sound occur with the seventh track, ‘Faith’, which requires a leap of imagination to puzzle it together into what humans have named “music”. It is approximately seventy-three seconds in length. √ 73 = 8.5440037453175311678716483262397, therefore a sampling of the first 8.5440037453175311678716483262397 shall be considered as representative of the basest essence of the piece. There seem to be… some noises, like somebody slapping a rusty steel tube and some electric background grumbling.
I’ve discovered that ‘Piano Music For Volcano Eruption’, when slowed down to several times below its original speed using a pitch modifying program, sounds very bassy. It’s a marvelous thing to behold.
‘Sin’? I fail to see any evidence for… oh, more sound… yes, I can hear much sound happening in this piece of music. I should take notes… ah, at precisely seven seconds we hear voices… and then there are intervals of space in which other sounds creep around. Very intriguing…
‘Production Of Souls’ looks like this at thirty-eight seconds, according to my visual analyzer…
… notice the peculiar lack of high range frequencies, the weight given to the low-end and most of the mid-range bands. The low-mids and sub frequencies seem the most pronounced. In many test samples across a diverse range of sound sources I found very similar results. Most curious.
But, what is the ‘Meaning’? All of this data from all of these measurements, yet no profound statement to be made.
The next piece, ‘Sadness Of Happiness’ may provide a clue… we must listen and investigate our neurotransmitters to see if we can gauge a reading. I’m receiving a somatic response to the sound… actually, too many at once to adequately measure. This isn’t working… my subjective evaluations are of no use to the greater experiment.
What is ‘Love’? Baby, don’t hurt me… ouch! I’ve just drawn blood so that I may analyze the effects of the soundwaves of this track when amplified into a blood sample. I will now proceed… Eureka! I have discovered… that little to no change has been recorded! We’re making progress!
‘Scratch Echo’, in contrast, does appear to be more dermal abrasive. When I put it through the amplification device and re-volumize it to past eleven I feel my body shaking and it is as if a poltergeist has come into the lab; everything in the room quivers violently and I have to stop the playback.
I must lay down for a moment… but I will keep the music playing in case any other experiments come into my mind. What is this? ‘Sunrise Of The Dormant Mind’? Nodding off now… ah, perhaps I should connect the Electroencephalography device to measure the effects of the sound on my R.E.M. cycle?.. *snores* ah, ah, I must have dozed off! I had a very terrible dream! In it I was writing a review for an album by The Bored Spies! I’m so glad that didn’t actually happen to me… oh, and I think I’ve come to the next track already…
… yes, this must be ‘Joy’. Though I know it sounds… emotional… I am overjoyed to be listening to this right now instead of the horror I had narrowly escaped in that nightmare from earlier. Perhaps… that is the key… that special “something” of some import that needs to be said regarding this album, that despite all of these tests I’ve been doing to figure out why an album like this is so great, it really boils down to something like… no, no… alas, there is no way to precisely, objectively state this feeling I’m having as fact as it is merely a baseless opinion. Thus, I will have to disregard it and move on to more strenuous exercises in deciphering the merit of the album.
The final sound file, bringing this album to a close so to speak (unless you have the disc set on repeat), is titled ‘The Uprising Into Balance’. I’m hearing things again… things that a lesser mind would call “beautiful”, “gorgeous”, “voluminously a marvel of sound-craft”, “lush and provocative”, “so warm that you almost feel as if you’re being snuggled by a cosmic love-machine covered in shaggy pink fur”, but while these things could certainly be said, they would not be scientific.
Given the surplus of data I have collected, this can be objectively stated about the album: it is circular, plays sound when placed into a compact-disc reading device of some sort, and is the product of a small group of people possessing some strange psychological urge to create and derive pleasure from peculiar arrangements of noise. This is the verdict that has been reached by the great minds at YIKIS laboratories.
In post… people are always saying, “You need to see the big picture!” while others say, “You must see the forest for the trees!”… but what of seeing trees for their complex cellular structures or molecular builds? Why can we not discuss a forest for the diversity of atoms that make up all of its entelechies, whether vegetable or mineral? Personally, I’d like to some day discuss this album even more in depth, in regards to some of its quarks. Very quarky stuff here, I can tell. You can buy a copy at the link below: